Croque-monsieur (French Edition)
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Long Beach, California: The Independent. Page F Julia Child acknowledged variations, but in the end, with her instinct for French food at its purest, steered her readers to the simple classic one:.
"croque-monsieur" in English
I suspect it was the simple one — a slice of ham between 2 slices of cheese then sandwiched between 2 slices of fresh white bread, and slowly sauteed in butter. But there are more elaborate methods,such as grating the cheese and blending it with a thick cream sauce, or dipping the assembled sandwich in beaten egg, either sauteing or deep-frying it, and serving it with a cheese sauce. Since there is no known classical rule to guide us, however, the cook should feel free to adapt to circumstance, cheese, and mood. I prefer Mozzarella to Swiss cheese, by the way, since I find its softer consistency blends more meltingly with the ham, the butter,and the bread.
Here is the plain version, with its delicious primal taste of ham, cheese, and bread all browned leisurely in the best butter:. For each sandwich, lay a slice of bread on your work surface, brush it with clarified butter, cover with a slice of cheese, a slice of ham, another slice of cheese, then brush one side of the second slice of bread with butter, and lay it buttered side down to top the sandwich.
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Now press the sandwich together firmly, leaning on it with the palm of your hand. Trim off crusts, and press down again on sandwich. For appetizers, cut the sandwiches in quarters or eighths.
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If done ahead, arrange on a baking sheet and set aside, covered with plastic wrap. Uncover and heat in a degree oven 5 minutes or so before serving.
Classic Croque Monsieur - My Food and Family
I like ham and cheese, but you should feel free to do what you wish since there is no set recipe, and the process is the same whatever you choose. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Albuquerque Journal. Page A Fabrigant, Florence. Given the name croque means crunch , Saveur's soft, bready version seems both inauthentic and texturally disappointing: as any Welshman will tell you, you really need to toast the bread before you add the cheese or things will quickly descend into a gooey mess.
I'm torn: my decision to use bechamel seems to rule out frying the sandwich in butter which, of course, makes it completely and utterly delicious but I'm not overly keen on Waitrose's clever use of the cheesy bechamel as a filling rather than a topping which seems to be the only way to combine both frying and bechamel. It seems too gloopy to belong in a sandwich. In the end I decide to toast the bread first, as Jamie magazine does, but only on side to mimic the simultaneously soft and crisp texture one gets from frying.
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I'm also going to brush it with butter, to make it as robustly crunchy as possible — it should be able to withstand the bechamel on top, while yielding to the volcano of melted cheese within. And if you don't like that, then perhaps you'd be better off with a tuna wrap. Preheat the grill to medium-high, line the tray with foil and put the butter in a pan over a medium-low heat to melt it. Brush one side of each slice of bread liberally with melted butter and put under the grill butter-side uppermost until golden and crisp, then set aside.
Stir the flour into the remaining butter to make a paste, cook for a minute, then gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until smooth. Simmer for a few minutes, until thickened, then take off the heat and stir in 30g cheese until melted. Grate in a little nutmeg, stir and season lightly. Spread the untoasted sides of the bread with mustard, then put the ham on top, followed by the cheese, and pop under the grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted.
Top with the rest of the bread, with the toasted side uppermost, and push down, then put the sandwiches on to the grill tray and top with bechamel sauce. Grill for about 5 minutes, until golden and bubbling, and serve immediately. Is the croque monsieur the world's finest toastie, or an overrated, overpriced Parisian cafe cliche?
Do you prefer it plain, or drenched in bechamel sauce, fried or grilled — or even topped with a fried egg or, God forbid, a pineapple ring? This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.